Now that you have broken out all of your law firm marketing efforts into categories to be reviewed, you are almost ready to dig into the numbers. A cursory look at your accounting system may not be enough, as there are likely to be other expenses that are often overlooked. Some of these may include:
- Journal ads and donations to local charities
- Special events that you attended and/or sponsored
- Professional associations, including dues, event fees and sponsorships
- Printing costs for brochures or folders
- Specialty items bearing your logo
- Networking membership fees and costs to attend events
Now that you have the real numbers, remember to breathe.
Remember that you invest in marketing in the same way that you invest in legal talent, document systems and support staff. Without these key elements, your practice cannot perform and will not grow or be profitable. Don’t forget that in a highly competitive market, it takes a lot of repetition for people to get to know you and relate to you enough to let you into what are some of the most private and sensitive areas of their lives: their families and their assets. Marketing is an investment that you make in your practice and your future.
Start with Google Analytics. This will tell you everything you need to know about your web traffic. If you are not sure how to log in or how to use the vast amount of information that is the very nature of GA, create a support ticket and ask to speak with your account manager. We’ll be able to help walk you through your ESS 1.0 Dashboard, where you may review your GA data so that you can get a working knowledge of what you are looking at and how to use it to measure your marketing efforts.
Look at your Customer Relationship Management data. If you are using the E2-CRM, you or someone on your team should be somewhat fluent in generating reports and analyzing performance. Again, if you aren’t getting the data the way you want, create a support ticket and we’ll be glad to help.
How are you tracking your progress? If you are not using the E2-CRM (or any CRM, for that matter), we hope that you have a system in place that allows you to accurately track your marketing efforts. If you don’t, perhaps taking a look at your marketing investment will convince you to consider setting up a system that relies on more than anecdotal information in 2017.
Meet with your accountant. This is the second best time of year to review the year that was, do any end of year planning (which may include purchase decisions) and set goals for 2017. The first best time of year to review your finances is at the start of the third quarter, when a review of the first two quarters will show if you are on the right track. There’s still time to make corrections and changes for the rest of the year.